Inaugural High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame Class Unveiled

Posted by Press Release on February 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University athletics department and the Panther Club are proud to announce that eight extraordinary former student-athletes and coaches will make up the inaugural HPU Athletics Hall of Fame Class.

The standout group includes Andreia Blanchard (’81, basketball), Dick Culler (’36, baseball/basketball/soccer), Karen Curtis (’98, basketball), Bob Davidson (’55, cross country/track head coach), Otis Foster (’75, baseball), Gene Littles (’69, basketball), Brian Payne (’93, track & field) and Jerry Steele (men’s basketball head coach/HPU athletic director).

“We are so privileged to induct these distinct individuals as the inaugural class of our High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame,” athletic director Dan Hauser said. “High Point University has a rich athletics history steeped with tradition and this group was instrumental in forging the championship culture that drives our department each day.”

The first annual High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Tickets, which include food and beverage, are $40 per person or $280 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets for the induction dinner, visit highpointpanthers.com or call (336) 841-4556.

For more information on each of the eight inductees, see the capsules below.

Andreia Blanchard ’81 | Women’s Basketball | 1977-81
Second on High Point University’s all-time scoring list with 2,374 points…One of just two 2,000 point scorers in school history…Tied for single-season rebounding record with 403 in 1978-79…HPU’s all-time leader in career field goals made (1,035), single-season field goals made (331) and single-game field goals made (18 vs. VCU, 1981)…Part of the team that won the AIAW National Championship in 1977-78…Led HPU to a 107-30 record during her four seasons, including a school record 33 wins in 1978-79

Dick Culler ’36 | Baseball, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer
Played basketball, soccer and baseball for High Point College in the 1930s…Captain of the basketball team…His No. 9 jersey in basketball is the first-ever retired at High Point…Served as a player-coach for the men’s soccer team…Played as a pitcher and an infielder for the baseball team…First freshman to be named to an All-Conference team…Named the most outstanding athlete in High Point College’s history at his graduation…Played in 472 Major League Baseball games as a shortstop for the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs and New York Giants from 1936-1949…Totaled 1,527 at bats, 195 runs, 372 hits, 39 doubles, six triples, two home runs, 99 RBI,19 stolen bases, 166 walks, a .244 batting average, .320 on-base percentage and .281 slugging percentage…Named to the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Karen Curtis ’98 | Women’s Basketball | 1994-98
Holds High Point’s all-time records in career scoring (2,612), single-season scoring (778), career points per game (22.7), single-season points per game (25.1) and career assists (645)…Also ranks fifth all-time in rebounds with 904…Two-time Kodak All-American and three-time Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC) Tournament MVP…Also named to the All-Time CVAC Women’s Basketball Team… Played professionally in Switzerland from 1998 to 2000 where she averaged 25 points per game as a point guard…Served as HPU’s lead assistant and recruiting coordinator for seven seasons from 2004-11…The Panthers posted an overall record of 118-94 during her seven seasons with a 65-37 record in Big South play…Won the Big South Regular Season title in 2006-07 and earned first-ever bid to the WNIT…Signed two Big South Freshmen of the Year in Mackenzie Maier (2008) and Shamia Brown (2009).

Bob Davidson ’55 | Men’s & Women’s Cross Country/Track | Head Coach, 1962-2001
Head coach of the HPU men’s and later women’s cross country and track program for a school-record 39 seasons…Longest tenured coach in High Point’s history…Selected as men’s and women’s track & field Coach of the Year 21 times…Selected as Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1994, 1995)…Was Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year 11 times…Named NAIA District 26 Coach of the Year eight times…HPU cross country teams won 18 conference championships, including men’s and women’s titles in 1997…Men’s track won 14 conference and division titles…Graduated from High Point in 1955… Was captain of the HPU men’s basketball team from 1951-54…Member of two conference champion teams… Played shortstop for the baseball team in 1951-52…Played professional baseball for two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers organizations…Taught exercise science, physical education and sport training classes at HPU…Given the Meredith Slane Teacher of the Year Award (1988), which is one of the highest academic honors given at High Point University.

Otis Foster ’75 | Baseball | 1973-75
Holds the HPU all-time career records in RBI (166), home runs (60) and slugging percentage (.837)…Second in career batting average (.380) … Holds the High Point University all-time single-season records for batting average (.476), hits (78), runs (65), RBI (76), home runs (30) and slugging percentage (1.116)…Became the first and only HPU baseball player selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft in 1975…Selected 15th overall by the Boston Red Sox…Played in the Red Sox organization for five seasons…Named to the Guilford County Hall of Fame in 2010.

Gene Littles ’69 | Men’s Basketball | 1965-69
High Point University’s all-time leading scorer with 2,398 career points…One of just three 2,000 point scorers in school history…Second all-time in points per game…Led the Panthers in points per game in 1965-66 (23.5), 1966-67 (23.4), 1967-68 (22.5) and 1968-69 (23.4)…Also ranks eighth in school history with 773 career rebounds…HPU’s all-time leader in field goals made (881), field goals attempted (1,773), free throws made (650) and free throws attempted (871)…Selected in the fifth round of the 1969 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks…Played six seasons in the ABA with the Carolina Cougars and the Kentucky Colonels…Enjoyed a 20-year coaching career in both the collegiate and professional ranks…Served as the head coach at North Carolina A&T from 1977-79 and led the Aggies to back-to-back MEAC titles…Served as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets from 1990-91 and also led the Denver Nuggets during an interim stint in 1994-95.

Brian Payne ’93 | Track & Field | 1988-93
Two-time NAIA National Champion (outdoor) in the 110m hurdles (1990, 1991)…Also won an individual national title in the 55m hurdles during the 1993 NAIA National Championship (indoor)…Also earned a pair of NAIA national runner-up finishes in the 400m hurdles in 1991 and 1993…Set the High Point University indoor 55m hurdles school record (7.42) during his 1993 national title race…Also holds HPU outdoor records in the 110m hurdles (13.98) and 400m hurdles (51.30)…Earned his master’s degree in divinity

Jerry Steele | Men’s Basketball | Head Coach, 1972-2003 | Athletic Director, 1972-98
Head coach of the HPU men’s basketball program for program-record 31 seasons from 1972-2003…Is High Point’s all-time winningest coach with a career record of 458-412 (.526)…Guided the Panthers to eight conference titles and appearances in both the NAIA and NCAA Division II National Tournaments…Also led HPU during its transition to Division I and led the Panthers for the first four seasons of the DI era…Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1986, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and was a member of the inaugural Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame class in 2005…Won 608 games in his career as a collegiate coach (Guilford College & High Point)…Served as HPU Director of Athletics from 1972-98…Led the Panthers to the Joby Hawn Cup – awarded to the best overall athletic program in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference – 12 times from 1975-1996…Played his college ball at Wake Forest, where he served as co-captain of the Demon Deacons 1961 ACC Championship team.


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